With the Winter Meetings upon us, perhaps there’s some more truth to latest Reds rumors regarding Cincinnati’s pursuit of Marcell Ozuna.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic is one of the most reliable sources in Major League Baseball. Rosenthal is reporting that the Cincinnati Reds are not done adding high-priced offensive-minded free agents. The Reds inked a four-year deal with Mike Moustakas last week, and the latest Reds rumors suggest Cincinnati may turn their attention to Marcell Ozuna.
Rosenthal tweeted out that the Cincinnati Reds were among the team’s interested in the free agent outfielder. He also linked a story from C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic, in which the Reds new approach towards free agency was outlined. Cincinnati’s pursuit of other free agents this offseason, such as Yasmani Grandal and Zack Wheeler, showcase a new way of thinking.
Fans have already heard Ozuna’s name come up in Reds rumors earlier this offseason, so that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. However, with these latest rumors surfacing during the Winter Meetings, perhaps a deal is closer than fans may realize.
Now, there’s a section of Cincinnati fans who despise the idea of signing Marcell Ozuna. Some folks point to a downturn in Ozuna’s stats over the past two years after his 2017 season saw him go to his second All-Star Game while taking home a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger Award.
Ozuna did see a dip in production over the past two seasons while playing with the St. Louis Cardinals. The right-handed slugger hit a combined .263 with a .327 on-base percentage, 52 home runs and 177 RBIs. Ozuna also has a draft pick attached to his signing after St. Louis extended a qualifying offer to the 29-year-old.
While a lot of fans use those types of traditional stats to evaluate players, apparently Ozuna’s representation has taken a more analytic approach. According to the New York Post, Ozuna’s agent is using analytics to highlight his client’s abilities and tamp down concerns over his perceived weaknesses.
The persistence of these Reds rumors surrounding Marcell Ozuna makes me think there’s a very good chance that Cincinnati will be in the mix for the slugger’s services. Other teams rumored to be interested in Ozuna are the Chicago White Sox, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Texas Rangers.